Steve Gregory

Extra Points: Brady, Dalton, Dolphins, Lions

Tom Brady news figures to be a rather common occurrence in this unusual offseason for the 20-year Patriots passer. Set for free agency for the first time, Brady is not expected to re-sign with the Patriots before free agency opens. The Chargers have surfaced again, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noting that Brady will have the Bolts atop his list — if, in fact, he decides to leave New England. This is not the first Brady-Chargers link, but JLC adds that the 42-year-old quarterback would have a short list if he did legitimately decide to test free agency. The Chargers’ Los Angeles headquarters, which have not been especially beneficial to the franchise thus far, would appeal to Brady. The future Hall of Famer holds offseason workouts at USC and has previously lived in L.A. The Chargers are set to move into their new stadium, along with the Rams. Brady would certainly help on this front, with the team struggling to generate attention in its new market.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Andy Dalton and new Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor remain close, and JLC can envision this being a factor in how the quarterback dominoes fall during what could be a complex offseason at sports’ marquee position. Dalton “loved” playing for Lazor during his time as Bengals QBs coach and OC, per JLC. Although the Bears have committed to starting Mitchell Trubisky next season, he certainly has not lived up to his No. 2 overall draft slot and could be pushed like 2015 No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota was this season.
  • Patriots free agents Devin McCourty, Joe Thuney and Kyle Van Noy will likely have many suitors. One is expected to be the Dolphins, with Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writing that Brian Flores holds McCourty in high regard and that the team will pursue Thuney and Van Noy. All three are unrestricted free agents-to-be. Van Noy and McCourty played under Flores during his time as de facto Patriots defensive coordinator (2018), linebackers coach (2016-17) and safeties coach (2012-15). Van Noy and Thuney may price themselves out of New England.
  • Raekwon McMillan‘s 2019 season also helped sell the Dolphins on his long-term stock, Jackson adds. The Dolphins are interested in keeping the linebacker around long-term. McMillan rated as an upper-echelon linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, this season and became extension-eligible at season’s end. Under the Flores-Chris Grier setup, the Dolphins have already extended a few holdovers from the previous regime.
  • Damon Harrison revealed at the regular season’s end he is considering retirement, and the Lions are still waiting. They will likely not know Snacks’ plans for at least another few weeks, per the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. Thanks to the one-year add-on the Lions gave him in August, Harrison is under contract through 2021.
  • The Lions are expected to promote defensive assistant Steve Gregory to secondary coach, Birkett adds. The Lions hired Gregory, who played under Matt Patricia in New England, in 2018. Detroit fired DBs coach Brian Stewart after the season.

Extra Points: Chiefs, Lions, Eagles, Raiders

Before Alec Ogletree was traded to the Giants earlier today, the Rams also offered the veteran linebacker to the Chiefs, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Los Angeles recently completed a Marcus Peters-centered trade with Kansas City, but it’s clear if Ogletree was part of those talks, or discussed in a separate deal. The Chiefs have already announced that team icon Derrick Johnson will not be re-signed, but Kansas City could still use another inside linebacker to play opposite Reggie Ragland in its 3-4 scheme. However, the Chiefs are one of the more-cap strapped teams in the NFL, so it’s unlikely they could have taken on Ogletree’s $10MM guarantee in 2018.

  • While the Lions now have until mid-July to work out an extension with recently franchise-tagged defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, a long-term could be a risky proposition for Detroit, argues Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Ansah will already be 29 years old when the 2018 campaign gets underway, and he’s dealt with nagging injuries and inconsistent play over the course of his five-year career. Additionally, Ansah will now earn $17.143MM in 2018, meaning he’s likely looking for a guarantee of $38MM (the value of two consecutive franchise tags). As Rothstein writes, Lions general manager Bob Quinn has shown a willingness to pay up for stars in the past, but it’s unclear if Detroit is willing to go all-in for Ansah.
  • In addition to confirming Mike Groh‘s previously-reported promotion to offensive coordinator, the Eagles have announced a series of staff moves. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland had had “run game coordinator” added to his title, Carson Walch was promoted to assistant wide receivers coach, and Trent Miles was promoted to offensive quality control/running backs.
  • The Lions have hired former NFL defensive back Steve Gregory as a defensive assistant, the club announced today. Gregory played under Detroit head coach Matt Patricia when both were in New England, and had spent the past several seasons as a special teams quality control coach at Syracuse, his alma mater. Per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link), Gregory has long wanted to coach in the NFL, and many of his former teammates were high on his future coaching potential.
  • Long snapper Jon Condo will not be re-signed by the Raiders, as Condo himself announced on his Twitter account. This was the expected result after Oakland inked two long snappers to futures deals this winter, tweets Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A two-time Pro Bowler, Condo had spent all but one season of his dozen-year career in Oakland.

Steve Gregory To Retire

Safety Steve Gregory has announced his retirement from the NFL, releasing a statement through his agent and DEC Management (via Twitter).

Gregory was recently signed by the Chiefs on the heels of an injury to star safety Eric Berry. He played two seasons with the Patriots, famously recovering the Mark Sanchez “Butt-Fumble” and returning it for a touchdown on Thanksgiving of 2012. Gregory was released early this offseason.

The bulk of Gregory’s playing career came with the Chargers, where he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He played five seasons with the team, appearing mostly as a backup and special teams player. He started 31 games for the Chargers between 2006 and 2011.

Chiefs Sign Steve Gregory

Former Patriots safety Steve Gregory has reached a deal to sign with the Chiefs, his agent David Canter announced today (via Twitter). Kansas City has a full 90-man roster, so the team will have to make a corresponding move to clear a spot for the new addition.

Gregory, 31, started 23 games at safety over the last two seasons for New England, but missed some time due to injuries in 2013, and was replaced adequately by rookie Duron Harmon, prompting the Pats to part ways with the veteran in February. A veteran who spent six years with the Chargers before his stint in New England, Gregory ranked among the league’s top 30 safeties in each of the last two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required).

While the timing is likely coincidental, it’s worth noting that the signing of Gregory comes on the same day that safety Eric Berry left Kansas City’s practice with an ankle injury. According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the Chiefs were just exercising caution with Berry, and aren’t concerned that his injury is significant. Defensive back Sanders Commings, on the other hand, appears to be more seriously hurt, as he is reportedly undergoing ankle surgery today. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Gregory ultimately replaced Commings on Chiefs’ roster.

East Notes: Dolphins, Revis, Eagles, Redskins

We’ve already brought you one batch of AFC East notes today, but there’s more news from that division and its intra-conference counterpart, the NFC East.

  • In the aforementioned AFC East notes, we learned the Dolphins were bringing in Samson Satele, along with two unknown offensive lineman, for a workout following an injury to center Mike Pouncey. The identity of one of the other lineman has been revealed to be Steve Vallos (per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald). Vallos, 30, is something of an NFL journeyman, having spent time with five franchises, including the Broncos last season. I covered the possible options at center for Miami last week.
  • Darrelle Revis was often an enemy of the Patriots when he played for the Jets, but now that he’s in New England, he offers his praise for the team, according to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune. “They work their butts off in New England,’’ said Revis. “As soon as you get into the offseason program, it’s non-stop. They want to be winners. They know what I can bring to the table and at the same time, we want to win.”
  • Former Patriot Steve Gregory is staying in shape and waiting to hear from teams, but as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes, it will probably take a training camp injury for a team to show interest in the 31-year-old.
  • Th Eagles’ defense could show vast improvement next season, writes Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer, simply due to the maturation of the team’s 2012 draft class, which includes Brandon Boykin and Mychal Kendricks.
  • The Eagles face a quandary at the kicker position, writes Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com. Incumbent Alex Henery can hit field goals, but his distance on kickoffs leaves much to be desired, while undrafted free agent Carey Spear can cause touchbacks with ease, but has trouble on routine field goals. Mosher posits that both specialists could be unseated by a free agent signing, and specifally names former Titan Rob Bironas as a player whom Philadelphia could bring in.
  • In other kicker news, the Redskins could opt to keep two kickers in Kai Forbath and seventh-rounder Zach Hocker, according to Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com.

David Kipke contributed to this post.

NFC Links: Foles, Lions, Vikings

Following Colin Kaepernick‘s recent extension, many young quarterbacks are likely counting down the days until their new contract. One signal caller who isn’t thinking that far ahead is Eagles field general Nick Foles.

As Jeff McLane of Philly.com writes, Foles has never been financially motivated to play the sport. It certainly helps that his father sold a chain of Texas-based restaurants for $59MM, but as the writer says, Foles “is his own man and will want to forge his own path.”

Besides the lack of desire for a large payout, there may be many factors that stands in Foles’ way. One could be the lingering belief that a more mobile quarterback would fit better into coach Chip Kelly‘s system. Another is the hesitance to buy into Foles completely until he’s proven that he can sustain his success.

Regardless, the entire thing isn’t bothering the 25-year-old.

If you try to think about all that, it’s hard to play,” Foles said.

If the quarterback continues with that focused mindset, he may be in line for his own large contract soon enough.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

FA Rumors: McCown, Pettigrew, Giants, Cards

Free agency rumors are pouring in, with less than five hours until the market officially opens. Let’s round them up….

  • Quarterback Josh McCown expects to get a deal done quickly once free agency opens, and has one or two specific teams at the top of his list, as he told SiriusXM NFL Radio this morning (Twitter link).
  • The Lions continue to talk to tight end Brandon Pettigrew, but a deal before the deadline appears unlikely, so he should hit the open market, says Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter).
  • Centers Evan Dietrich-Smith and Brian De La Puente appear unlikely to land with the Giants, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com.
  • Expect the Cardinals to pursue free agent linebacker Mike Neal, tweets Mike Garafolo of USA Today.
  • Free agent tight end Jeff King is highly unlikely to return to the Cardinals, says Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona (via Twitter).
  • Cornerback Antoine Cason is drawing some interest, but he’ll likely wait until after the top-tier corners sign to find a deal, tweets Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com.
  • Emmanuel Sanders is among the names on the list of wide receiver targets for the Browns, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
  • Since being released late last month by the Patriots, safety Steve Gregory has received some interest, and expects to sign after the bigger dominos fall, tweets Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
  • It looks like Bears cornerback and ace special-teamer Sherrick McManis will reach the open market today, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

Patriots To Release Steve Gregory

The Patriots will release safety Steve Gregory today, according to his agent David Canter of DEC Management (Twitter link). Gregory had been set to enter the final year of his contract, but instead will hit the free agent market early.

Gregory, 31, started 23 games at safety over the last two seasons for New England, but missed some time due to injuries in 2013, and was replaced adequately by rookie Duron Harmon, who is significantly younger and cheaper. By cutting Gregory, the Pats will create $2.85MM in 2014 savings, reducing his cap number from about $3.683MM to just $833K in dead money.

While he’s a cap casualty in New England, Gregory should be able to find work with another NFL team. He has ranked among the league’s top 30 safeties in each of the last two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required).